"One wintry afternoon in 1891, three men were engaged in earnest conversation in London. From that conversation were to flow consequences of the greatest importance to the British Empire and to the world as a whole. For these men were organizing a secret society that was, for more than 50 years, to be one of the most important forces in the formulation and execution of British imperial and foreign policy.
The three men thus engaged were already well known in England. The leader was Cecil Rhodes, fabulously wealthy empire builder and the most important person in South Africa. The second was William T. Stead, the most famous, and probably also the most sensational, journalist of the day. The third was Reginald Baliol Brett, later known as Lord Esher, friend and confidant of Queen Victoria, and later to be the most influential adviser of King Edward VII and King George V."
Carroll Quigley. The Anglo-American Establishment. 1st ed. 1981. p. 3